A swan died after suffering serious injuries following a dog attack in Nantwich.
The swan was found by a passer-by in the river by Manor Road North on Saturday afternoon (30 September), with severe injuries to one of her wings.
When the RSPCA arrived, the swan was so far out into the weir that assistance was required by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service to safely rescue her.
After being rescued, she was taken to the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, where sadly her injuries were so serious that she was put to sleep to prevent further suffering.
The RSPCA is now reminding dog-walkers to be cautious when near wildlife.
RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer Steve Wickham, who was part of the rescue operation, said: “Sadly she had a gaping wound on the side of her body and it was obvious that she was in a bad way when we rescued her. The wound was consistent with a dog attack.
“She had cygnets with her, who were not injured but sadly no longer have their mum coming back to them. It’s very sad and it could have been so easily avoided if someone had kept an eye on their dog while walking them.
“Sadly this situation happens all too often and we would really urge dog owners to keep a look out for nearby swans, or any wildlife, when they are out on walks and keep their pets on leads. A bit of extra diligence could save lives.
“Dog owners have a legal responsibility under the Dangerous Dogs Act to keep their dog under control in a public place.”
Paul Rowlands, from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, attended the incident along with firefighters from Chester and Powey Lane. He said: “We were called to help an injured swan that was in the water. Firefighters wearing swift water rescue personal protection equipment used a sledge to get to the bird and bring it back and onto the bank.
“We were really upset to hear that the swan couldn’t be saved, after all our efforts, but we are happy that we were there to help it and that it didn’t suffer for too long.”
Swans, their nests and their eggs are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The RSPCA is a charity relies on public donations to exist. Anyone who would like to support the vital work of Stapeley Grange can text RSPCA2 to 70007. Texts cost £3 + standard network rate.